He was hit on the head. Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa recently forced the National Football League to deal with a setback of its own. Sports fans watched Another all-too-common traumatic brain injury on prime-time television. Athletes are not the only people, however, who should avoid TBI at all costs.

When we suffer such trauma due to the negligence of other people, medical expenses and punitive damages should be borne by those responsible. most importantly, Insurance companiesCompanies and individuals hired to protect against costs must pay for the protection they are paid to provide.

Traumatic brain injury, often Due to older adults fallingis an important reason. Injury-related death and disability. among Americans. About 1.5 million Americans suffer from TBI. About 230,000 of them are hospitalized. more than 64,000 people died. from TBI in the United States in 2020. This equates to 176 TBI-related deaths per day.

TBI often results for survivors. Short or long term problems which can completely change a person’s life, including their ability to work or form relationships with others. It can change the way a person thinks, acts, feels, learns and remembers. How does one walk, talk and sleep?

Shockingly, the Centers for Disease Control found that five years after traumatic brain injuries nationwide, 22% of victims died, 30% suffered a disability, 22% suffered the same amount, and 26 % improved. After extensive and expensive rehabilitation, only about a quarter of TBI victims improve. The lifetime economic costs of TBI, including all medical costs, add up to approximately $76.5 billion annually in the United States. $400 billion worldwide.

TBI victims “show a complex range of neuronal and metabolic changes, and likely mechanisms of injury Nerve cutting“said Dr. Oren Gottfried, professor of neurosurgery and clinical vice chair in the Department of Neurosurgery at Duke University.

“Neural pruning” is Gottfried’s medical term for cutting the strings that play music in our brain. With a pinch, a person may experience neck pain or tenderness, double vision, numbness, severe or worsening headache, seizures or convulsions, loss of consciousness, memory loss, vomiting or rapid restlessness, agitation, combativeness, May be depressed or suicidal.

I know of such consequences myself. I suffered a traumatic brain injury when a treadmill pushed me onto a concrete floor that was covered with a very thin piece of carpet. The fall cracked my skull. My brain was bleeding as it traveled to the right side of my head and then quickly swelled. Part of my skull had to be removed and placed in my stomach to give my brain room to breathe. My neurosurgeon successfully moved my brain back and later returned my skull to their correct locations. I was unconscious for two months and have no memory of the days before, during or after the fall.

(Disclosure, following on from the earlier point about insurers, in 2018, I filed a lawsuit against this gym and its insurance company, seeking damages for the suffering I suffered. ).

Like most TBI victims, I want the old me back—the one who can strategize, organize, write, and talk about the issues and policies I care about. And work hard to promote. She never came back. I lost my old job and never got a new one.

After four decades of working as a journalist, press secretary and public relations specialist, it took me only a few hours to write these many words. Almost six years after the blow to the head, it took me days to piece this piece together. Routines for me are now getting lost while walking around places I know well, forgetting restaurants I’ve enjoyed many times with my husband, feeling extremely anxious about being late for appointments. , fearing conversations with good friends and acquaintances, losing your temper, and many more.

The project of my last few years—writing a book about sexual abuse, growing up in Mississippi and working in Washington and New York—was more about trying to recover than making money. Needless to say, I spent more money paying editors to help write the book than I did in sales after Amazon and the publisher took their big bite. Talking about sexual misconduct and the book during live and recorded interviews required practice, detailed notes, and in some cases requests for do-overs. Thank goodness for Zoom, however, which allows me to see my notes on the screen during the interview.

This is my new life—a life I hope to hold on to, with this prayer Dementia or Parkinson’s disease Doesn’t catch me.

Let’s pray the same for the Miami Dolphins quarterback and the other 1.5 million Americans who will be hit in the head next year.

Hinton is the author of “Penis Politics: A Memoir of Women, Men & Power.”